ECONOMYNEXT – Minister of agriculture and plantation industries Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority to promote a high-density tea cultivation system and use of new technology to increase yields.
“Maximum yields and high-quality tea can be obtained from a minimum amount of land through this system,” Amaraweera said when he visited a 7.5 acre Velipenna, Peragaswatte tea estate which utilizes this system, according to a statement issued by the government information department.
The estate, which has been cultivated under the guidance and funding of the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority, has yielded a successful harvest.
Although 6,500 tea plants are planted per acre according to the normal tea cultivation method, 13,000 tea plants can be planted under this high-density cultivation method.
According to the traditional method, only 300 kg of tea leaves can be harvested from one acre, but under this method, a high yield of 1500 kg of tea leaves can be obtained.
This system of tea cultivation also uses minimum amounts of human labour, water and fertilizer, according to the statement.
There are 52 such model tea estates around the country, where growers have been given financial assistance of 10 lakh rupees per acre.
Sri Lanka’s tea export revenues grew 1.8 percent in September 2023 to 119.9 million US dollars, amid a rise in volume and fall in the average price, industry data showed. (Colombo/Nov20/2023)